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Highlights

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has faced persistent challenges in managing its grants, which constitute over one-half of the agency's budget, or about $4 billion annually. These challenges include achieving and measuring environmental results from grant funding. It is easier to measure grant activities (outputs) than the environmental results of those activities (outcomes), which may occur years after the grant was completed. In 2003, EPA issued a 5-year strategic plan for managing grants that set out goals, including identifying and achieving environmental outcomes. This testimony describes persistent problems EPA has faced in addressing grants' environmental results and the extent to which EPA has made progress in addressing problems in achieving environmental results from its grants. It summarizes and updates two reports GAO issued on EPA's grant management in August 2003 and March 2004.

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